One of my fondest memories as a child was going to the Trexlertown Game Preserve.

I enjoyed feeding the animals, and reveled in the beauty of the landscape as we drove through the country to get there, sometimes stopping for ice cream on the way home.

Each trip, I wanted to get closer and closer to the animals, and would have jumped into the cages with them if it were allowed which made time in the petting zoo all that much more special.

On one of the trips, I had a traumatic encounter with a goat.

The simple story was that he was more interested in my shorts than the grains I was trying to feed him, and I was quite fond of the shorts I was wearing.

I made such a commotion that the other animals in the petting zoo ran away, eyeing me from afar.

Several weeks later, my Mom suggested going to the game preserve again.

“No way,” was the first thought in my mind.

After this experience my most favorite place to visit became the last place I wanted to visit.

My Mom knew better and so off to the Trexlertown Game Preserve we went, my little sister in tow.

And, of course, my Mom wanted me to go back to the petting zoo, and I put up a fight.

As you may know, kids don’t hold a grudge as long as many adults do so when I got there I approached the goats once again – with great hesitation.

This time they looked up at me, and I talked softly and stepped lightly as I approached the fence.

They did not move, so I advanced further.

They recognized me – (you know, the crazy girl from a few weeks ago shrieking as one of their very own was eating her shorts).

As if making a gesture of friendship, one goat started walking toward me.

He was a baby, and probably curious.

Within minutes, more came and soon I had three more scurry over along the fence line and I felt the goodness of nature all around me.

Both the goats and I were hopeful that neither of us meant to harm the other.

By suspending my inhibitions, I let my guard down and my fear dissipated.

Second chances.

They’re one of the greatest things about life.

You’ll never get it right all the time.

People will hurt you, offend you, frustrate you, and even cause a bit of trauma in your life.

Forgive, and love them anyway.

Take the first step.

You can never tell who will decide to join you on the path to an Upside life.

And, I encourage you to be the change you wish to see in the world. 

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